Completed project: Tandberg Movi Videoconferencing Software Client Pilot

Primary UITS contact: Steve Egyhazi

Completed: June 1, 2011

Description: Video Infrastructure intends to conduct a real-world usability study of a specialized videoconferencing software client called Tandberg Movi by allowing select students, faculty, and administrative videoconferencing participants to use the software to connect to conferences on the IU video bridge. Movi may be thought of as a niche application that complements our primary desktop videoconferencing solution (UniCom/Office Communicator) by allowing guest-access to IU's videoconferencing infrastructure by students, lecturers, and administrative conference guests who may not necessarily be members of IU's active directory (or that of a federated partner), and therefore do not have access to the Office Communicator client. Movi might also help simplify support for videoconferencing by IU's Video Help Desk who spend a fair amount of time troubleshooting problems with people who either can't or won't use OCS and instead use a variety of free or cheap clients like Skype, Xmeeting, Eki ga, Xlite, PolycomPVX, etc. We might consider using Movi as an recommended alternative for at least a subset of these users.

Outcome: By the end of the evaluation period, we will try to clearly outline whether or not Movi provided test users with a satisfactory videoconferencing experience, whether it can play a useful role within our overall videoconferencing solution strategy at IU, and whether it is supportable, both from a front-line and back-end (scalable) viewpoint.

Milestones and status:

  • October 14, 2010: Movi accounts allocated to approximately 25 users both within and outside IU. Users include students and faculty of IU's School of Education, and UITS staff.
  • November 10, 2010: Solicit further pilot users for spring semester through CITL and other channels.
  • December 2010: A Movi user survey was conducted with 23 respondents reporting good to excellent audio and video quality with the Movi software client. As expected, more than half of respondents indicated that they use Movi on a Mac computer. Most respondents use Movi to connect to 2-5 conferences per week for 60-90 minutes per event. In addition, the IU Video Help Desk has solicited anecdotal feedback from a number of individual Movi users which has also been very positive. The IU Nursing and School of Education programs are regularly using Movi for distance education classes with very good results.
  • January 12, 2011: Conduct user training as needed for new students.
  • February 2011: Movi pilot account requests are viral; almost 300 accounts have been requested as of mid-February.
  • May 1, 2011: Evaluation period ends. Submit findings and assessment to Clegg and Lucas.
  • June 1, 2011: Movi moves into official production status. Software client updated to latest version.

Benefits: Some benefits of the Movi videoconferencing software (and some differentiators with the Office Communicator client) include:

  • ADS: Movi is independent of active directory, and thus lends itself to guest lecturers or students outside AD and/or not at a federated OCS institution
  • Mac/Windows: Movi works on Mac and Windows. The UI is quick to grasp and is nearly identical on both clients (easier to support). Messenger for Mac and the Office 2011 Communicator for Mac cannot connect to any of our H.323 infrastructure.
  • Install/UI: Movi installs relatively quickly. Our experience thus far is that most users download, install, sign in, and are connected to their first conference in under three minutes.
  • Asymmetric speed control and resolution: Movi can be set (by group policy or by individual users) to transmit and receive at different speeds and can transmit/receive at different resolutions. This is crucial because typically, Movi users are at home on broadband and have far less upstream bandwidth than downstream.
  • H.239/BFCP dual video versus RDP/Live Meeting: Presenting computer graphics quickly and easily is critically important to most distance education events. The OCS client cannot send or receive computer graphics at higher than 320x240 (webcam resolution) when connected to the IU video bridge. The Movi client and the IU Video Bridge supports BFCP for computer graphics presentation, so that Movi users can send and receive high-resolution computer graphics when in a conference on the IU Video Bridge.
  • Echo cancellation: The Movi client has built-in echo cancellation which eliminates the need to use a headset.

Related information:

Risks: The primary risk (as with all desktop videoconferencing software solutions) is that we have no control over the particular idiosyncrasies of the Movi user's machine, or the network segment from which the user will connect; therefore, we have only limited control over the videoconferencing experience from user to user and session to session. In the case of distance education classes, at least, we will mitigate this risk by selecting classes that are already being streamed live via our iStream infrastructure. This way, Movi users will have an alternative, that is, to watch the live stream, and use their telephone to phone into the conference to ask questions. This will have the added benefit of allowing us to review and observe Movi quality to the conference.

Issues: Our initial Movi license is for a maximum of 100 concurrent Movi users, i.e., a maximum of 100 users who may be logged into IU's VCS server (not necessarily in a conference but simply alive and registered). Thus, our approach to Movi account management is an issue. Also, our evaluation of Movi will hopefully overlap with IU's initial evaluation of the new Microsoft Lync client, which includes the "Attendee Lync" option for guest access. Movi's strengths must be considered and evaluated side-by-side with the Attendee Lync. Finally, the as-yet-unreleased Adobe Connect 8 has some promise for two-way SIP-based video communication which, like Attendee Lync, might affect our judgment of the relative strengths of Movi as a niche solution.

Primary client: Distance education students and faculty, guest lecturers, and specific internal administrative users or administrative conferencing guests

Client impact: Movi has potential to attract a wider variety of academic and administrative customers to the videoconferencing infrastructure by providing a high-quality and easy-to-use solution for guest lecturers and home students.

Project team:

  • Steve Egyhazi
  • Chris Golden
  • Gary Curto
  • Mary Delellis
  • Jim Ohrt
  • Wade Mitchell
  • Devin Kitterman
  • Rebecca Hensley

Governance:

  • Paul Clegg

This is document bajl in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-05-02 11:10:46.

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